Massa not expecting easy race

Brazilian hoping to convert third Istanbul pole into third win

Despite his past record at the Turkish Grand Prix pointing to a likely success, Felipe Massa is not expecting an easy race come Sunday afternoon.

Istanbul first held a grand prix in 2005 and on each occasion the race has been won by the driver starting from pole position.

Massa himself won both in 2006 and last year and, given such a statistic, he was particularly happy to take pole for the third time.

"For sure I think I put together a very good lap," the Brazilian said of his pole lap, timed at one minute 27.617 seconds.

"I couldn't put together a good lap in Q2. I was a bit in traffic but in Q3 I managed to warm up the tyres in the right way and I even passed (Fernando) Alonso on the out lap to get a good lap.

"In the second try I improved a little bit and enough to put it on pole. I am so happy to come here for the third time with Ferrari and get the third time pole position."

Tough race

Massa is still expecting a tough race, with the McLarens of Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton second and third on the grid, ahead of his own team-mate, World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.

He added: "I am looking forward to try and have the best race possible. For sure it won't be easy because we know our competitors are quite strong and quite close.

"The race tomorrow will not be so easy, so let's try and do everything right and put the tyres at the right moment and use the car in the right direction."

The 27-year-old is currently fourth in the drivers' standings, 11 points behind Raikkonen.